This is a film still from DAISIES by director Vera Chytilová.

SUPPORT #LDNindieFILM: Second Run On Demand

As we get up & running again we thought we’d look at the initiatives that are supporting London’s indie film scene through this time of crisis. First up is a new streaming service from legendary distributors Second Run On Demand. Every £4.99 film hire pays something back to struggling venues. Here’s everything you need to know.

We know Second Run from being in the audience at many of their film events across London. A regular collaborator with venues like Close-Up, ICA, and Barbican, you can often see Second Run founder Mehelli Modi taking to the stage (or lingering at the back of the auditorium…) to nurture into light the label’s great world cinema revivals and restorations. Speaking about the launch of their new streaming service, Modi said:

“This is a contribution with our thanks to those cinemas which have to remain dark at the moment. We hope this will amount to something helpful and will reflect how important an independent cinema is to communities everywhere.”

Mehelli Modi, Second Run On Demand.

The new Second Run On Demand streaming service celebrates the synergy between film, distributor and venue at this time of continuing crisis. For every £4.99 hire (which gives you a week to re-watch the film), a proportion of proceeds gets shared with a network of UK venues. For London that list includes single indie screens like Close-Up Film Centre and Deptford Cinema, cultural centres like Ciné Lumière, and multi-art institutions like ICA and Watermans. We’ve included the full London list below.

You can treat yourself to a host of distinctive world cinema voices with Second Run’s release lineup. Films skew towards the label’s specialism in the films of Eastern Europe, but the choice is refreshingly focused and wide-ranging. Of the 10 titles currently available, you’d spend little more than the average price of a UK cinema ticket if you booked yourself in for a DIY double-bill.

We’d recommend every single one of the 10 release titles which include standout gems like Věra Chytilová’s DAISIES and Pedro Costa’s HORSE MONEY alongside a RADIANT CIRCUS favourite, Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s MYSTERIOUS OBJECT AT NOON. We’re also delighted to see Bill Morrison’s DAWSON CITY: FROZEN TIME on the list, a documentary about the explosive history of film. You can read our writeup from Kennington Bioscope’s 2018 presentation of that film at The Cinema Museum HERE. Scroll down to see the full list of release titles.

Despite significant easing of lockdown laws and the gradual re-opening of London’s indie film venues (even if it’s only their libraries and cafés at this stage…), this remains a critical time for venues. We also imagine that audiences will expect enriched online activity from film exhibitors to continue for a while to come. At the time of posting, no one can say with certainty what the cinema-going experience will be like. This is having an inevitable impact upon audience confidence.

Whilst we know all exhibitors want to be welcoming audiences back into their darkened rooms, it has been encouraging to see some brands grow as their online activities connect with new audiences internationally. It’s hard to see how this gets put back into the box but pressure to fulfil both live and online audience expectations puts further demand on many organisations that were already operating with the slimmest of margins.

Even though economic times are hard for all of us, any money that gets back to indie venues will help keep them open for our continued enjoyment, entertainment and education. Get streaming if you can…


This is a film still from HORSE MONEY by Pedro Costa, available on Second Run On Demand.
HORSE MONEY by Pedro Costa at Second Run On Demand.

Barbican Centre // Ciné Lumière // Close-Up Film Centre // Deptford Cinema // Genesis Cinema // ICA // Phoenix Cinema // Waterman’s Arts Centre.


This is a film still from MYSTERIOUS OBJECT AT NOON directed by Apichatpong Weerasethakul, available at Second Run On Demand.
MYSTERIOUS OBJECT AT NOON by Apichatpong Weerasethakul at Second Run On Demand.

DAISIES d. Věra Chytilová (1966) // DAWSON CITY: FROZEN TIME d. Bill Morrison (2016) // EVERYBODY IN OUR FAMILY d. Radu Jude (2012) // HORSE MONEY d. Pedro Costa (2014) // JOURNEY TO THE BEGINNING OF TIME d. Karel Zeman (1955) // KINETTA d. Yorgos Lanthimos (2005) // MYSTERIOUS OBJECT AT NOON d. Apichatpong Weerasethakul (2000) // SILENCE AND CRY d. Miklós Jancsó (1968) // VAMPIR CUADECUC d. Pere Portabella (1971) // VALERIE AND HER WEEK OF WONDERS d. Jaromil Jireš (1970)

And that’s the meat of it

  • Click HERE for continuously updated news about London cinema reopenings (A to Z).
  • Click HERE to submit your #LDNindieFILM Love Story about your favourite indie venue.
  • See all our readers’ published #LDNindieFILM Love Stories HERE.

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